Afro-Cuban hip-hop and dance band Earth Arrow Music performs at the fall installment of the Joshua Tree Music Festival this weekend, so we chatted about what we can expect…
L.A. WEEKLY: When did the band start, where, and what was the mission?
EDGAR HERNANDEZ: The band started in December 2017, most of us were friends beforehand in different projects and decided to join up to form a group consisting of brown and black people to represent the realities of the hood specifically South Central L.A. where the band started. Making music to resist the spiritual and psychological oppression inflicted on us through hundreds of years of colonialism is the goal, it what we live and breathe. This is the way we keep sane and we want to help others maintain their sanity too.
The band name was inspired by Flavio Santi Vargas aka Ayui Yu who is an indigenous leader in the Ecuadorian section of the Amazon jungle. His teachings are the basis of the concept that is Earth Arrow.
Describe the sound…
EH: Our sound is basically Sly and the Family Stone meets Santana meets Lauryn Hill
Will this be your first appearance at Joshua Tree Fest?
CHELSEA MONET: This is our Third time at JTMF . The first time Fall 2018 was a pleasant surprise because an international band was unable to make it and we got to fill their spot primetime Friday night when our good friend Wamuhu Waweru (@primoarts), a friend & vendor at the fest dropped our name to Barnett the festival founder. We made a good impression and were invited BACK to spring 2019, created some more buzz now we are back for Fall.
What can we expect from your set?
SEMA PHILICE: From our set you can expect truth , energy and intensity sprinkled with very vulnerable intimate moments. The first portion of the show is always bound to have some jaws dropped and by the end the dance floor is a wave of emotion and free movement.
When that’s done, what else do you have coming up?
SP: After this we rest for a second, then get back to the grind. At our Power Ranger Megazord best there are 9 of us! We dropped an album in Spring and have performed at over 300 shows in less than 3 years. The bands content, message and the work (immigrants rights work, anti gentrification work, feminist work, LGBTQIA work) is heavy. We are actually going on hiatus to recenter mentally, physically, emotionally; work on other projects (solo albums will be coming from us all in the next year or so – the ladies of the band currently have something brewing) & different entrepreneurial ventures as well. Besides being amazing musicians our band is full of artisans, philosophers, serious social activists, and just all around renegades honestly. EA started as Edgar calling the homies up for a gig at The Viper Room on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Now we move on from this chapter of EA under the real stars in the Mojave desert, baring our souls. The energy the spirit is gonna always be there just gotta follow the arrow.
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